"Welcome to the McCain Ranch"
The Sixteenth Cousin
After months of talking about it, the day has finally arrived and my boy, Mark was very, very excited! It was exciting, but I was tired and was trying to get a little shuteye before the train pulled into the next station. But Mark wouldn’t have it that way! He actually woke up to tell me that we were almost to Marinette, the stage junction. I didn’t see anything exciting about that.
“Pa, here we are on the first train ever to go into North Fork, and you are sleeping the whole way!” Mark chided me.
“And you don’t want me to miss anything, huh?” I joked. But I did enjoy seeing my boy so exciting. It sure did warm my heart!
We pulled into the junction. Mark grew even more excited. We’d be in North Fork in another hour. Then Lou and Micah would be there to meet us. I would bet half the town would be there to meet the first train to North Fork!
I was watching the people getting on and off the train when I heard someone speak. "Excuse please, you occupy four seats?" There stood two Japanese men. They wanted the seats next to Mark and I. I apologized and then took the seat next to Mark. Before long we were on our way. I thought since we would be traveling together I would introduce Mark and myself to them. The one man introduced himself as Soto and then he introduced his master Hikaru Yamanaka...Imperial Lord...fifth warrior of the Samurai...sixteenth cousin in the family of his Imperial Highness...Emperor Japan. "Most pleased to make you acquaintance honorable...McCain," said Hikaru Yamanaka.
Hikaru was quite impressed with my rifle. He noticed how the ring was fashioned for great speed, swiftness. Hikaru Yamanaka congratulated me on having a weapon only a foolish man would face. He said he came to America to learn the way of the western people and take that knowledge back to his homeland. But he also saw lots of people carrying guns – they liked to kill in a city called Wichita. “See may take gun…shoot…kill…” He shook his head. “Very bad. Your gun nothing like sword of Samurai.”
Naturally, Mark wondered what that was. Soto opened a long box he was holding. It was a beautiful Samurai sword. You should have seen the look on Mark's face and how far his mouth had dropped when he saw the sword. Makes me wonder how I reacted when I saw the sword. Mark wanted Soto to take the weapon out but Hikaru Yamanaka said they could not, the sword was used to kill, nothing else.
It sure did look like the whole town came out to see the first train arrive in North Fork. This was a great day for North Fork. I told the two men that it was nice meeting them and to have a nice trip. Hikaru asked me to wait. “I come to America to study way of people. Very exciting. Wonder if it possible to stay in your home town of North Fork to study.....to visit.....and to see more...” I told them that we would be mighty glad to have them visit here in North Fork.
Lou and Micah were waiting for us. Micah asked how the trip went and if I got all the cattle sold. I told him we had a nice trip and we got a good price for the cattle. Lou was excited; she had been waiting for this for some time. As I started to introduce Lou and Micah to Mr. Yamanaka, I wasn't quite sure how to introduce them. Thankfully, Soto took over. "Imperial Lord...fifth warrior of the Samurai...sixteenth cousin..."
Mr. Yamanaka interrupted Soto. He said we could call him Hikaru and he was honored to make our acquaintance.
Mark translated their reason for being here quite…uh…western-like. “They stopped off in our town to see all the goings on!”
I told them that Lou owned the hotel and asked her if she could accommodate them. She told them she was sure she could and we all headed for the hotel.
Two drunks, Gus Torpin and Vic Adler were standing on the porch of the hotel. They wondered what “that” was coming up the street – talking about the two gentlemen. When we stepped up on the porch and started into the hotel, Torpin tripped Soto. He said he was sorry, his boots were a little too big. I knew he had done it on purpose
"Pick it up!" I said. Torpin looked at me and asked what I had said. "I said pick it up!"
“No please,” Soto said as he tried to smooth things over. “Soto…careless.”
Micah told Torpin he better change those boots so he didn’t do it again. "Anything you say Marshal," laughed Torpin.
"Lucas...Micah...come on," said Lou as she headed into the hotel. Gus and Vic just stood there drinking and laughing.
“Son,” I nudged him forward wile I kept a stern eye on these so-called men.
That evening, Mark and I were in the dining room when the two Japanese gentlemen walked in. The two drunken cowboys from earlier were there too. I quickly invited our guests to sit with us. They accepted humbly. The cowboys continued joking and laughing. Their attitude was bothering me. Mr. Hikaru saw my reaction to them. “He’s no consequence,” Mr. Hikaru assured me. “In Japan, your customs would be strange to our people as well.”
Soto agreed. “But, in Japan…we welcome opportunity to teach lesson.”
I offered Soto a seat, but he informed me it wasn’t proper for servant to have food with his master.
Lou came into the dining room and asked if there was anything special that she could prepare for them. Hikaru asked what Lou would suggest. She recommended the mulligan stew. Soto explained to Hikaru what mulligan stew was. Hikaru found it funny that they came to America and was now going to eat food from Ireland. Hikaru ordered the stew and asked Lou to join us. She thanked him, but said she had some things to tend to. Hikaru offered us a drink of rice wine, sake. He sent Soto for a bottle of the wine. He explained that Sake to Japan is what the American west called red eye. "Oh I don't guess I better be havin' any of that," Mark said.
"No...I don't guess you better!" I agreed.
While we were waiting for Soto to return from getting the rice wine, Hikaru and Mark started up a conversation. He told Hikaru that they were reading in school about when America’s first council general went to Japan in 1856. “He said…your people sure seemed strange to him.”
“I could say same thing,” Hikaru agreed. “Western American people very different.”
“Yeah,” Mark nodded. “I guess they are.” Mark then questioned him on his and Soto’s relationship. Soto was his servant, but they acted more like really good friends when they were together.
He said Soto was a very good friend. He’d lay down his life for his friend. “When Soto very small, he came to me as a servant.” At the age of ten, he already knew his duties. He said Soto was a very good Japanese wrestler. Mark figure wrestling was wrestling. “Not quite. Perhaps before departing, Soto could have opportunity to teach young one lines of duty.”
“Oh, that would be great!” Mark declared.
My boy was getting a little too excited for our guests. Plus it was getting quite late. I gave him a subtle hint. “Mark, don’t you think it’s been a…long day?” The tone of voice I used dropped my point very well.
“I know, Pa and…I’ve got chores to do in the morning,” Pa stated. He excused himself and went home.
Gus and Vic decided to leave, but as they got into the lobby they saw Soto coming down the stairs. Soto tried to avoid him, but they grabbed him and threw him down onto a couch. They asked him what he had and then Gus grabbed the wine from Soto and started drinking it. He then started for the dining room. Soto tried to grab it from him again. “Now boy, there ain’t nothing wrong with having a little fun!”
Hikaru and I stepped out into the dining area. “The fun’s over, Torpin!” Torpin started to say something, but I didn’t let him get far. “Turn him loose!” I demanded.
I told him to get out. Hikaru stopped me. He walked up to Gus. Soto felt shamed and apologized to Hikaru. But Hikaru directed his statements to Gus. “You are most fortunate that my servant respect present of master and not strike back. Would be embarrassing for you.”
“Him fight us?” Gus joked. Oh you must be kidding!”
He assured Gus he wasn’t kidding. “You have caused servant to lose face. To do so is to cause master to lose face, and I as well must restore honor.” Vic wondered what Hikaru was talking about. “Demand satisfaction,” Hikaru explained.
“You know, that sounds like maybe you’re trying to call us out,” Gus piped up.
“Choice of words not clear,” Hikaru said.
“I mean…you wanta take us on.” Hikaru just looked at Gus. “You wanta fight!” Gus yelled.
“Most precisely,” Hikaru answered.
Vic laughed and asked if they wanted to do this with guns or their hands tied behind their backs. “Use gun…or hand. I am Samurai warrior. Use Samurai Sword.” Hikaru apologized for leaving without having dinner, but they needed to prepare for their fight.
“What kind of sword did he say?” Vic asked me.
“Samurai,” I answered. Then I turned and walked back into the dining room.
I went up to Hikaru's room to try and talk to him and to tell him his swords was no match for Gus and Vic's guns. He was meditating and would not acknowledge me being there. Soto convinced me that I should not interrupt Hikaru.
Meanwhile, Gus and Vic were down at the saloon just laughing it up. They thought this gunfight was a big joke. They were getting drunker and drunker, and they just kept laughing harder as they told everyone about what happened at Lou’s. Gus joked that they were probably sneaking out of North Fork right now.
Micah and I picked that moment to walk in. “No one’s leaving North Fork except you,” he said. Gus didn’t get his meaning.
“Alright, outside,” I ordered in a calm voice.
“Now wait a minute! We ain’t harming nobody!” Gus argued.
“You’re bothering me,” Micah said. “I want you out of town right now! I don’t want you back until I say so.” That would be after the “Fellows at the hotel” were gone.
. Gus told everyone that the two Japanese must have gotten the Marshal and I to protect them because they were scared. I didn’t care what they thought. I just wanted them out. “Alright then, let’s go!” I ordered.
Micah and I followed them out the door. We started down the street. Then we realized it was too late. There stood Hikaru and Soto in their ceremonial clothes. Hikaru started at them with the sword. He swung it back and forth as he kept moving forward. Gus and Vic moved out of the way as Hikaru kept coming at them. Gus and Vic were pushed up to a hitching post. “Now you die!” Hikaru chopped the hitching post in half.
Gus started to draw his gun. “Let the gun alone, Torpin!” I ordered.
“What are you talking about?” Gus asked. “He’s trying to kill us!”
"One of us must die," said Hikaru.
I had to do some fast talking here. “Why? Because they roughed up Soto?” I asked. “I don’t think he’s want you to lose his life because of that.”
"Must regain honor," Hikaru explained.
Micah started to explain that they couldn’t do it, but I stopped him. "Why don't you regain it the way you lost it?" I asked. Hikaru didn't have a gun and Gus and Vic didn't have a sword, why not put the weapons down and just fight it out.
“You mean…the two of us against him?” Gus asked.
“You are afraid?” Hikaru asked Gus.
Gus laughed. “Afraid?” Vic laughed then. “Oh yes…we’re afraid of what we may do to you!”
Hikaru thought maybe Gus would feel better if he let Soto fight to. Sot would be more than happy to teach them a lesson. So, everyone was in agreement. So Soto handed me the sword, and Micah ordered the cowboys to take their gun belts off. Sot removed his robe. Underneath, he was wearing a judo outfit.
The fight started. Hikaru and Soto threw Gus and Vic over their shoulders a couple times. Then they slammed the cowboys into each other. They slammed them down again. Gus was slammed into a building. He then picked up a barrel and threw it at Hikaru. He went over his head. So Gus picked up a large stick and started toward Hikaru.
I immediately flipped my rifle to cock it. “Hold it!” I ordered.
But I needn’t worry. Hikaru told me the club was alright. They had no trouble swinging the bad boys over their shoulders. After a couple more tosses on the ground, Vic and Gus were through with fighting. They could hardly move.
Mark and I invited Hikaru and Soto out to the ranch. Soto and Mark played a game of checkers. Soto beat Mark. He told Mark that he played an excellent game and he didn't think he could beat him again. Mark was impressed; he told Soto that he was the best checker player ever seen in North Fork. Hikaru told us that Soto was too modest to tell us that at imperial palace he was the checker champion. You should have seen the look on Mark's face. "Mr. McCain...you and your son have been very kind to us. We are two strangers from a foreign land and yet you have been our friends. You have invited us into your home," Hikaru said.
Soto then took a box out of his pocket and as he opened it. “When honorable Hikaru was little boy...his illustrious father gave him this...(a Buddha pendant) it is to remind him that even when family is not together...they carry each other in their heart. It's for you from Imperial one," He handed the pendant to Mark.
Mark was speechless and surprised by this great gift. "Thank you Mr. Hikaru, Mr. Soto, I sure will never forget you.” With approval from both of us Soto and Mark went outside so Soto could give Mark someJu-Jitsu lessons.
Hikaru and I sat down at the table. "Your son has great love and respect for you Mr. McCain - something Hikaru missed as a boy. Hikaru's father a very wonderful man. But very busy at Imperial Palace. Home not warm...simple like this," He looked around.
I asked him if he would be going home soon. He said he had planned to go to South America when he left here, but had changed his mind and was going home instead. He said that this time of year his father goes to their summer home for time of meditation and he had decided to join his father there. "It will give him great pleasure. It will give me great pleasure too," said Hikaru.
piddlin' stuff.......John Fujioka/John Mamo as Hikaru Yamanaka .....Imperial Lord.....fifth warrior of the Samurai.....sixteenth cousin in the family of his Imperial Highness..... emperor Japan.
Vito Scotti appeared in four ― Waste 1 & 2 as Alphonso, he was the leader of the bandits ― The Sixteenth Cousin as Soto the honorable servant of Hikaru Yamanaka.....Imperial Lord.....fifth warrior of the Samurai.....sixteenth cousin in the family of his Imperial Highness..... Emperor Japan ― Which Way'd They Go? as Marcello Chabini the owner of the bank in Paradise.
Charles Maxwell played Gus Torpin. He was the one who tripped Soto. He also was in Branded twice with Chuck, Seward's Folly ― The Bounty.
Paul Sorensen appeared in two episodes ― Seven as one of the prison guards, he's the one in the beginning of the episode that fed the prisoners ― The '7' Prisoners ― The Sixteenth Cousin as Vic Adler, he's the cowboy who asked if they (Soto and Hikaru Yamanaka) wanted to fight with guns or their hands tied behind their backs.
Patricia Blair as Lou Mallory. Patricia was first introduced to The Rifleman in Lou Mallory. She played a hot-tempered Irish lass who was a razor-sharp businesswoman. She joined the cast in the fifth and final season and appeared in seventeen episodes. Patricia replaced Joan Taylor who played Milly Scott owner of The General Store.
Archie Butler — Stuntman — Stunt coordinator — Actor - Archie has been in more episodes then anybody with the exception of the regular cast and he probably was in more episode then some of them. ~Arnold Laven
Remember him in The Sharpshooter? Remember when Lucas shot the whiskey bottle and it shattered into pieces? Archie was the cowboy who slid the whiskey bottle to Lucas. Sometimes Archie was a stand-in for Paul Fix.
Bloopers - The Sixteenth Cousin
You've heard Lucas' story, now hear Mark's
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